May 23, 2013 — Using only biomolecules (such as DNA and enzymes), scientists at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have developed and constructed an advanced biological transducer, a computing machine capable of manipulating genetic codes, and using the output as new input for subsequent computations. The breakthrough might someday create new possibilities in biotechnology, including individual gene therapy and cloning.
The findings appear today (May 23, 2013) in Chemistry & Biology (Cell Press).
Interest in such biomolecular computing devices is strong, mainly because of their ability (unlike electronic computers) to interact directly with biological systems and even living organisms. No interface is required since all components of molecular computers, including hardware, software, input and output, are molecules that interact in solution along a cascade of programmable chemical events.
Organic Computing is one of those Sci-Fi concepts I haven't personally seen much of, but it's such a fantastic idea! The idea that we can get ever closer to simulating a brain in it's organic setting makes me so giddy I could go out and hug a hobo!
In all seriousness though, Organic Computing will allow for devices more sophisticated and smaller than any silicon based chipset. Why? Because data is essentially programmed into our very DNA. Many other studies are being conducted on how data storage in DNA allows for animals to remember breeding grounds, and pass on information from one generation to the next.
The brain is the most powerful computational device known to man. It's only natural we should use that power to try and replicate it, and control it. The real question is, where will this increase in power and control lead us?